I am asking about a Jew. He is 100% materialist, atheist in his world view.

He keeps the most basic laws of Judaism: keeps Sabbath (not so strictly as Orthodox Jews do, but keeps), doesn't eat pork and doesn't mix milk and meat. (I don't know if he has brith, but I am nearly sure, that he has.) Not every weekend, but he is a regular visitor in a local synagogue.

I think, he does it because although he doesn't believe the religion, he wants to honor his religious friends and ancestors. Furthermore, this is the way of life he is accustomed to.

I think it would be nicer if he would do what God wants from him. But, somewhere I've read, that Judaism is more like law as simply a religion. And he keeps the law on a basic level.

So, what will happen to a Jew, keeping basic laws, but not believing anything over the pure matter?

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    you sure he doesnt believe deep down? – ray Dec 3 '16 at 19:11
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    Your case is perhaps a case of a man who like to say that he doesn't believe and to act that he believe. – kouty Dec 3 '16 at 19:33
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    @ray It can be hard to say even from ourself. I am sure he is non-believer on conscient level. – Gray Sheep Dec 4 '16 at 8:14

From the TaNaKH and from the Talmud, we read about these two ultimate "afterlife"-destinations, inclusive of a time-frame:

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence."

(Daniel 12:2)

Death is like sleep. Just as we wake-up from sleep, we also wake-up from death.

Yochanan Ben-Zakkai said, "I have two paths before me, one of the Garden of Eden and one of Gehenna, and I do not know on which they are leading me;"


Dying is like walking, a continuous process of being, and therefore "after death" (upon the continuous process of being), we encounter a fork on the road, one fork leads to Gan-Eden, and the other to Gehenna.

Master of the Universe, You have judged properly, You have acquitted properly, You have condemned properly, and it is befitting that You have prepared Gehenna for the wicked and the Garden of Eden for the righteous.


This quote, from the Talmud, tells us the courtroom time-frame after death or "afterlife", there is judgment ("You have judged properly"), which either leads to acquittal ("You have acquitted properly") or condemnation ("You have condemned properly"). A sentence of condemnation condemns one into the hellish "Gehenna"-Destination, whereas an acquittal leads into the heavenly "Garden of Eden"-Destination.

Thus is the "afterlife" nature, according to Orthodox Judaism as fleshed-out in both the above sources from the TaNaKH and Talmud.

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  • In a short answer, G-d never judges a person for what they didn't know. — Sourced somewhere. – Turk Hill Jun 2 '19 at 19:36
  • @TurkHill source please. – ninamag Jun 4 '19 at 5:06
  • Unfortunately, I am unable to find the source as I read it many decades ago somewhere. Be this as it may, the idea is certainly correct. – Turk Hill Jun 7 '19 at 4:09
  • @TurkHill I am not sure that "G-d never judges a person for what they didn't know", because in everyday life, that is not even true. If one truly believes that such and such action is not illegal (and it is) and one committed such an action, the Law will not excuse such a person. – ninamag Jun 10 '19 at 7:35
  • Although I agree that there is no excuse when you are aware of the law, you will admit that Judaism is unlike Christianity which sends people to hell simply because they never heard of a man named Jesus. I don’t like that kind of religion (Judaism) because it sounds good. No. It’s the truth. And the truth is the truth no matter what’s its source - Maimonides – Turk Hill Jun 10 '19 at 19:18

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